Townsend, Tennessee - Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  I pulled onto our gravel road at 7:45 am and saw 6 wild turkey hens and a gobbler from a distance of about 50 feet.  None of the hens had youngsters.  I think that is odd.  The gobbler was fanned out trying to tempt the hens into breeding.  This is late in the year for that kind of activity.  Maybe the hens lost their brood to that stray cat that’s been hanging around.

Traffic was slow in town.  I think the heat and higher gas prices have hurt our local economy lately.  I have not talked to anyone in business here who is doing well right now.  This year has been a weather nightmare.  Winter was horrible with snow, ice and impassable roads.  The Park was closed often this winter.  The Spring was wet and cool.  Now we are in a heat wave situation.  Weather certainly effects our business.

I talked to one of the tube company owners yesterday.  He told me that TWRA stocked trout during the early afternoon.  I can’t believe they did that.  The fish were dropped into the river from a bridge.  At that point the water had to be around 75 degrees.  Those fish had to be shocked when they were dumped from a cold hatchery truck into that warm water.

A small thunderstorm moved into the Park near us yesterday afternoon around 3:00 pm.  We could hear the thunder but it did not rain here.  Rain did fall in the Park.  Most of the streams indicated a spike in the flow last night but most of them are dropping now.  Cataloochee, Oconoluftee, Tellico River, and Little River which all have gauges reported an up-tick in flow.  Little River is flowing at 79 cubic feet per second this morning.  Median flow for this date is 147 cfs.  The water temperature at the swinging bridge was 70 degrees around 8:00 am.

Fishing is fairly good in the shaded streams, especially in the higher elevations.  Abrams Creek is also fishing well.  That water is cooler near the falls trailhead than is most lower elevations streams in the Park.  Springs feed that portion of the stream, lots of them.

The trout are going to be in the riffles to evade predators and take advantage of the oxygen content.  You will also find them where riffles enter pools and the water is still choppy.  Dry flies seem to be working best.  Yellow is the color.  Anything that resembles a yellow sally stonefly is what I would use.  A Parachute Adams or Thunderhead might work too.

It’s Green Weenie time.  They are working, not only here but in the tailwaters too.  Cicadas are working.  I saw a photo of an old friend this morning holding a nice brown he caught on the Caney Fork yesterday.  Jim caught it on a cicada pattern.

Frank and I are going to fish below Chilhowee Dam tomorrow.  We’ll probably be at the ramp at 6:30 am.  We are going to try for smallmouth bass and carp using cicada patterns.  I washed the boat after work and took it home last night.  Everything is ready for tomorrow morning.  We may fish on Saturday too.  Navigating below the dam gives me the creeps.  The water is shallow in many areas and there are standing trees, stumps and rocks all over the place.  But, I need to motor around that area and learn where the bad places are.  Citico Creek empties into the lake there.  That’s another tough place to get into especially when they are generating at the dam and there is strong current in the Little Tennessee River.  But, you don’t see any other boats there except anglers and there are usually not many of them.  I have seen kayakers paddling there.  The fishing can be really good and I hope it is tomorrow.

We are holding a planning commission meeting tonight.  The State of Tennessee cut the funding to provide professional planners for small towns.  We actually pay about $5,000 for the service each year.  But those days are over.  As Chairman of the Commission I worry about this and there does not seem to be a solution to the problem.  I talked to the Mayor the other day about it and he didn’t give me an answer that indicated anything had been worked out. 

None of us are planners.  The State planner who has been working with us has a masters degree in planning.  He knows what is going on.  He knows the laws that govern towns.  Larger cities and towns have a professional planner or more than one on staff.  If we don’t do something we will be stifled.  Yesterday I got two phone calls about the meeting tonight and one personal visit.  The citizens and business owners are concerned about this too.  I’m going to press the issue tonight in the public meeting.  If we don’t have a professional planner I don’t think we can have a planning commission.  We write city ordinances and review site plans.  Then we approve site plans.  I am not capable of doing that without assistance nor am I willing.

Have a great day and thank you for being here with us.

Byron Begley
June 9, 2011

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Our fly fishing classes will be offered from March to October 2011.   To sign up just call the shop at 877-448-3474.  You can read more on our website in the Schools Section.  The fly fishing class schedule follows:

Saturday May 21 – Beginner Day One
Sunday May 22 – Beginner Onstream Day Two
Saturday June 11 – Beginner Day One
Saturday June 25 – Beginner Day One
Sunday June 26 – Beginner Onstream Day Two
Saturday July 9 – Beginner Day One
Saturday July 23 – Beginner Day One
Sunday July 24 – Beginner Onstream Day Two
Saturday September 10 – Beginner Day One
Saturday September 24 – Beginner Day One
Sunday September 25 – Beginner Onstream Day Two
Saturday October 8 – Beginner Day One
Saturday October 22 – Beginner Day One
Sunday October 23 – Beginner Onstream Day Two

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